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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #424613

Research Project: Potato Genetic Resource Management, Characterization, and Evaluation

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21000-057-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 24, 2013
End Date: Mar 6, 2018

Objective 1: Develop and apply new methods for managing potato genetic resources which improve genebank operating efficiency and effectiveness, and which enable pathogen-tested materials and associated information to be distributed worldwide. Objective 2: Maintain, regenerate, back-up, monitor, and distribute genetic resources and associated information for potato and related wild species. Objective 3: Evaluate and characterize potato genetic resources for priority genetic and horticultural traits. Apply knowledge of patterns of genetic divergence and diversity in potato to strategically expand the collection.

We will systematically test potential improvements in germplasm preservation and handling techniques through various enhancers of seed germination, flowering and botanical seed yield, pollen viability, and improved methods of plant fertilization. We will acquire selected germplasm for the genebank from within the USA and abroad after consultation with state and federal advisory committees. We will classify germplasm with morphological and DNA marker assessments. We will preserve germplasm by performing seed increase of at least 200 accessions per year yielding >10,000 seeds on the populations with lowest seed numbers and germination, testing for disease, and backup in the national base collection at Ft. Collins, CO. We will distribute germplasm free of charge to federal, state, corporate and private clients in the US and abroad. We will evaluate genebank germplasm through partnerships with ARS, state, industry, and foreign scientists with expertise in various specialties of potato research. We also aim to continue to discover and describe simple physiological and genetic traits in-house. We will particularly seek evaluation projects studying nutritional potential in exotic germplasm. Evaluation of the patterns of genetic diversity in the genebank will be done using DNA markers. As in the past, the empirical evidence gained will be used to modify genebank techniques so the best practices are in place for maximizing the acquisition, preservation, and evaluation of genetic diversity in the genebank.